Glen Innes craft shop Made in Glen won't close after huge public support

MADE IT: Made in Glen is back in business with an Examiner article in May driving a substantial growth in sales for the small craft supplies business.
MADE IT: Made in Glen is back in business with an Examiner article in May driving a substantial growth in sales for the small craft supplies business.

Made in Glen is back in business.

The craft goods store on Grey street was scheduled to close by June. But after a story published in the Examiner the business turned around, with owner Laura Hamilton saying she's had over 50 people approach her to offer moral support.

"I've even been threatened with violence if I close - true".

"When you make that decision you're at your lowest point - you feel like you failed at something you set your mind to," said son and conscripted businesses assistant David Lewis.

"And you're admitting it in a very public way.

"We met people for the first time who were coming in to talk to us about that article, about the fact that we were closing.

"People who as far as we were concerned didn't know we were here."

The decision to close was devastating for Ms Hamilton, who left the shop one day declaring she wouldn't even return for a closing sale, hoping to avoid explaining what she considered her failure to the community hundreds of times.

"It's very hard to pour your heart and soul and the majority of your money into something and then have to walk away from it, particularly in a small community," said Mr Lewis.

But with an increase of patronage by 20 - 30 per cent, they're out of the woods.

Laura Hamilton.

Laura Hamilton.

Made in Glen was opened in April 2018 with an aim of helping the Glen Innes craft and sewing community by providing product in town, rather than forcing them to drive to Inverell or Armidale.

The store sells fabric and craft supplies and also offers an opportunity for producers to resell the finished good to their customers.

For six months the business was doing well. But by May the store was actually losing money, where the pair had to put their own money in to keep the lights on.

"When we last spoke to you the decision had been made; we'd spoken with the landlord, we were negotiating a close date," said David.

"Thanks to our friends at the Glen Innes Examiner publishing a story about our plight we saw an increase in patronage.

"It was a wakeup call to people who like the convenience of having this sort of thing locally.

"They realised the value of it and they realised businesses don't exist on an island, they're part of a community and we need support, and we try to support others as well.

"We're not special, everyone's suffering, every small business along this street is suffering in one way or another."

He said the drought has hit the entire Glen Innes business community, a fact that sometimes gets forgotten.